Of all the subjects on which statistical material exists, probably none shows less uniformity, both over time and between countries, than education. There is no universal definition of what constitutes a primary school, or a general secondary school, and even that of a university has shown some flexibility, especially of late years. Moreover, there have been at least two major reorganisations of school systems in every country in Europe in the twentieth century; there were others earlier; and minor changes have been very frequent. Then, the statistics of pupils and teachers have not always been collected in a consistent manner, even within the same school system. The date in the school-year to which they relate has been altered on various occasions; the exact meaning of the statistics has changed, sometimes referring to all pupils on the register, sometimes to those in regular attendance, sometimes to those present on a particular day, and sometimes to those present when the inspector visited. Nevertheless, for all the onstacles in the way of precise comparisons, when used with care these statistics do provide useful comparative material, if only of a rough nature.


Primary School Private School Previous Figure Primary Category Italian Province 
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© B.R. Mitchell 1975

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